WASHINGTON — The U.S. February producer price index data show shocking gains, but this should not matter to financial markets for a number of reasons. One is that consumer price information is already known to be modestly flat, and another is that participants are instead focused on credit developments that threaten to overtake the economy and push inflation far lower at a later date.

February PPI printed up 0.3%, with core showing a 0.5% gain in its largest jump since a 0.9% increase in November 2006. Since February CPI printed unchanged in both its overall reading and its core, this latest “bad news” PPI has limited importance for the general inflation outlook.

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